[#1] Hello, Hoping you can please answer my questions:
Why would God send people to hell if he allowed the serpent in the garden to manipulate Adam and Eve? How is this fair? If God knew man would fall why even allow this? If children of the earth can lust in sin and be burnt for eternity! how can they be saved when angles have done this same thing? There is no control not even for angels who have greater divine power and understanding. Why create someone when God knows the ultimate choice a person would make? Throughout all the things a person can do, we have to understand that God knows the final result. So God already knows who will perish in flames.
I am depressed and sad and rather confused as I want guidance but instead have fear. I want hope but instead I am constantly afraid of many externalities. I want guidance and direction before I make a major mistake which is churning my insides out.
Great question and so often asked! Your question has many facets and will not be easy to answer in a few sentences. So what I will try to do is to answer it simply and my answers will have to be accepted in faith. You ask a question that has formed denominations taking a 'for or against' view.
As I begin... let's say, since you are a Christian, that we get this settled first... that God is love! There is nothing He can do that is contrary to that holy and blessed nature. Everything God does is from love and to demonstrate His love to us.
Adam and Eve were placed in a 'heavenly' environment. They had each other, authority, purpose, and dominion. They walked and spoke with God in sweet fellowship. They knew God loved them and they had no fear of Him whatsoever (before sin). However, we must remember that they were new to this 'love' experience. In their life and ours, there is no true understanding of what love is unless it is tested. The tree was the test. God put ONE thing in the garden, only ONE restriction. This was not a test for Him, you are right. He ultimately knew what they would choose. BUT they did not know what they would choose until they encountered the test from Satan. Unfortunately, we know the result of their choice. Praise God, He always has a plan for rescue. Jesus, the second 'Adam' would come and pass every test and temptation thrown at Him (not just the one) and He succeeded. Now, all who come to Him by faith shall be saved.
See, Angels were individually created; they do not procreate like humans. We however, are all through Adam's line. The Bible teaches the sin nature is passed through Adam to every generation. Romans 5:12 "Therefore, just as through one man (Adam) sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned..." Then verse 15 "But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man's offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many; verse 16 and the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned." See, Adam's sin is passed to all mankind by birth.
Important point here...Jesus however, is NOT through Adam's line for His Father is God. Mary could not pass the sin nature to Jesus because that comes through the man NOT the woman. This is so important here. IF Joseph where the father, the sin nature of Adam would have passed to Jesus, and we'd still be lost.
God wants us to love Him, NOT be forced. We all have the choice to accept Him. God's love is so great that He demonstrated His love and commitment to us by allowing His own Son to suffer and die in our place. Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (NKJV). Adam and Eve could have chosen to believe God, trust Him, and obey that ONE command, if they had, well, we wouldn't be having this conversation. God has a perfect plan even when fallen angels or mankind messes up. Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." That includes You my friend!
You mentioned that you are 'afraid'. Let me encourage you in a few things:
1) Know you are saved! If one is saved, the Lord God will never disown them or cast them away. They have 'Eternal' Life!
2) Understand you are a child of God: 1 John 3:1 "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God!" 1 John 4:4 "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who in in you is greater than he who is in the world." God watches over His own for all eternity.
3) Know that you have a holy purpose and that God will NEVER leave you nor forsake you. My life verse is: Philippians 4:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." That encourages and reminds me, that even when I fail, Jesus will never fail me. You are correct in your statement that Jesus does know the final result. He knows the choices we make, but also know that He gives us His Word to make 'excellent' choices. He gives us His Spirit who guides us in righteousness. He gives us His presence to soothe and comfort our troubled souls.
4) Also, remember that God is in control of all things. He saves us while we are IN the world, but He did not save us out of it. One day He will make all things new, but until we are with Him we will still encounter tribulation, hardships, temptations, and persecution. Jesus said: "John 15:18 "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you." verse 20: "...If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. John 16:33 "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world."
5) Lastly, and there are many things I could say, but remember this little quip.
LEARN from the past so you won't make the same mistakes, but also remember what you did well; remember that God was faithful to keep you and His Word is true. 1 John 1:9;
LIVE for today. We are not guaranteed tomorrows. 'This is the day the Lord has made, rejoice and be glad in it." Too many people live life worrying about the 'what ifs' in life. God will take care of your tomorrows, you follow Him today. Read Matthew 6:25-34.
LOOK to the future. There is nothing wrong in planning. As you pray and seek God's will for your life He will lead you where you need to go. I have been following the Lord since 1978. He has never failed me. I have fallen in my walk many times, but He has never failed to lift me up.
Be encouraged my friend. It sounds to me like you stress over much. Rest in the Lord, be at peace even when the world is falling apart around you. How you ask? By fully trusting in His Word and being filled with the Spirit. Jesus said: John 14:1 "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me." verse 27 "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." Ephesians 1:6 "...He has made us accepted in the Beloved."
May I leave you with a couple 'homework' assignments? Read the book of John, and take your time, focusing on what John is saying about the person of Jesus. At the same time read Philippians; it is only four chapters so read it a couple times. Underline the times Paul speaks about rejoicing and joy, that is the theme of this small letter. Remember while you are reading that Paul is writing this letter while chained to soldiers in a Roman dungeon waiting for death. Ask as yourself, how could he do that and have such peace? He gives you the answer as you read.
Sorry if I did not answer your questions fully, and I am aware it may have caused more questions. See, I asked the same questions while I was in Seminary. Only through trusting the Lord, believing in His love for me and all mankind (John 3:16); and reading His Word on a daily basis did I come to that peace and understanding you are searching for. My friend, the answers you are seeking doesn't always come at once. Only by trust, following, and waiting on God will they eventually come. And honestly, some things you may never understand in this life but will have the answers when you see Jesus face to face. However, you can have His peace that passes all understanding NOW as you wait on Him. (Philippians 4:6-8)
Be Encouraged my friend. Jesus loves you, and so do we! In His Service: Bro Michael
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